Tag Archive for: Style

GroundsFest arrives in style

GroundsFest arrives in style: After months of anticipation, GroundsFest 2023 lived up to the hype and celebrated a very memorable debut event with the groundscare community.

The atmosphere was electric as GroundsFest united every corner of the industry and brought together 6,511 unique visitors (excluding exhibitors) across the two days.

GroundsFest arrives in style

GroundsFest arrives in style

It was apparent among exhibitors and visitors that this new event was exactly what the industry needed.

The mix of indoor halls and outdoor areas certainly seemed to strike a chord with visitors. Inside, the vibrant show floor provided attendees with a great mix of exhibitors showcasing a wide range of products and services, while five seminar theatres offered a feast of free education. The Landscape Zone, an entire hall dedicated to those involved in the planning, design, and construction of outdoor environments in the landscaping sector, also proved to be a welcome addition.

The practical demonstrations from Grounds Training were a big hit with attendees. During the two days large groups gathered round experienced instructors to learn more about pedestrian mowers, ride-on mowers, handheld machinery, and the calibration and use of knapsack sprayers and boom sprayers. Furthermore, the instructors were on hand in a large outdoor area to show visitors how to mark out a running track and speak about the essential elements of line marking sport pitches.

In the outdoor areas hundreds of exhibitors were proudly showing off their products with many new innovations being unveiled for the first ever time ahead of the 2024 season. Not only was there plenty to see on the stands but the outdoor areas provided visitors with the perfect opportunity to see a wide range of machinery and to participate in live demonstrations.

On the evening of the first day, exhibitors and visitors came together to enjoy the festival aspect of the event. With a range of food stalls, and live entertainment headlined by a very popular Queen tribute band, it was the perfect way to conclude a very special first day at GroundsFest.

Commenting on the first ever GroundsFest, Event Director Christopher Bassett, said: “On behalf of all of us at GroundsFest we really want to extend our gratitude to all our exhibitors, partners and visitors that have showed their support for the first event. From the very start we wanted GroundsFest to be an event for everyone and to be able to establish a real sense of community. Over the two days we’ve had sunshine, we’ve had rain showers, but more importantly we’ve had collaboration, built relationships, witnessed innovation at its finest and ultimately come together to celebrate the industry and have a great time with one another.

“The positive feedback has been overwhelming but we’re certainly not resting on our laurels.

We’re already planning how we can improve the event for 2024 by listening to every single piece of feedback and by analysing both the exhibitor and visitor surveys. We’ll certainly be back with GroundsFest chapter two in September 2024 and we cannot wait to welcome you all again.”

To watch the show highlights please click here

For more information, please visit www.groundsfest.com

You can also follow GroundsFest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @GroundsFest for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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ICL Schools Seminar Returns in Style

ICL Schools Seminar Returns in Style: The ICL Independent Schools Seminar recently returned in full force after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

Held at the all-new Sports Turf Academy within Leicester City FC’s world-class training facility, approximately 50 turf professionals from the Independent Schools sector attended the event to network and enhance their education.

ICL Schools Seminar Returns in Style

ICL Schools Seminar Returns in Style

With the last seminar taking place in 2019, many attendees saw it as a valuable opportunity to catch-up on trends and topics within the ever-changing world of turf management.

“You’ve got to stay up to date,” said Gary Austin, Deputy Head Groundsman at Radley College. “In the short amount of time between the seminars, things have moved on so quickly and less products have become available. If you don’t attend events like this and keep yourself aware, then you will get left behind.”

ICL’s Dr Richard Collins was the first to take to the stage and proceeded to provide an overview and update on the many research projects being conducted by ICL. Richard explained the importance of research and trials; detailed the types of research being carried out by ICL including internal studies and those in partnership with leading universities; and he also offered an insight into specific projects such as SMX – a soluble seaweed concentrate, and a variety of wetting agents.

Turf in the metaverse was up next as Syngenta’s Daniel Lightfoot addressed the exciting potential of digital agronomy. In his presentation, Daniel explained how digital activity will underpin the future of turf management, encouraging less chemical applications and more accurate biological ones. Attendees then saw how Syngenta’s Pest Management app is helping to provide turf professionals with essential product and application information.

A short coffee break allowed delegates to reflect on the morning seminars before ICL’s Henry Bechelet outlined strategies for effective renovations. Step-by-step Henry went through the stages of a successful renovation process by covering everything from seed

choice to early establishment and proven fertilisers to the use of supported technologies.

Lunch signalled the halfway point and, in turn, provided the fuel for attendees to share their opinions in a panel debate led by Adam King, Head of Grounds at Radley College. It presented an opportunity to discuss the biggest issues that the Independent Schools sector cares most about. Conversations focussed on staffing levels, recruitment, pay grades, how to get more people into the industry and whether industry organisations should be doing more for the sector. The refreshing debate could have continued long into the evening as attendees shared their own experiences and collaboratively explored potential solutions.

Host for the day and Head of Sports Turf and Grounds, John Ledwidge, then provided a fascinating insight into the recently launched Sports Turf Academy. John explained how the Academy aims to inspire the next generation of sports turf students by offering an elite training environment, with access to the latest technology and expertise.

The day concluded with a memorable behind the scenes tour of the club’s state-of-the-art training facility and the consensus was that the attendees were pleased to see the return of the seminar.

“I’m taking so much away with me,” said Chris Moody, Head of Grounds at Ratcliffe College. “Firstly, it has shown me just how much research goes into each and every ICL product. I found the digital technology presentation fascinating; it was a real eye-opener and I’ll be downloading the app as soon as I can, especially as it is free at a time when we’re all trying to keep within our budgets. Overall, days like this are very much needed – we all have time pressures, but we still need to take the time to attend something informative which brings together people of the same ilk.”

Michael Hood, Head Groundsman at Leicester Grammar School, agreed: “It has been great catching up and meeting people from other schools to share advice,” he said.

“We’ve all got the same problems, but we don’t get the chance to talk about it very often so today has been very beneficial.”

It was the first ICL seminar Ipswich School has attended, and Head Groundsman Martin Cull wasn’t disappointed: “We came today not really knowing what to expect but it has been amazing. Seeing all the research gives you even more trust in the products. Talking to other like-minded people and finding out how they deal with certain issues has also been very useful.”

“We haven’t got a huge budget, so the timing of product application is essential,” added Martin’s colleague Ollie Jones. “Therefore, the biggest thing I’ll be taking away with me from today is knowing exactly when to use products. It has been a real privilege to attend – the facilities here are breath-taking.”

The event certainly struck a chord with Aaron Winfield, Assistant Groundsman at Harrow School: “Listening to John Ledwidge and finding out how he is trying to develop the industry through the Sports Turf Academy was incredible. There is a clear hole in the industry which he is trying to fill. I also enjoyed participating in the panel debate because people are leaving the industry, which is hard to see when you love it. Today we have established that we need to educate more people from outside the industry as to just how great this job is.

“This event has been brilliant, and we need more days like this because it has allowed us to come together and help us nurture the future of the industry. I’d like to say a big thank you to Emma Kilby (founder of the seminar) and everyone else at ICL.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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SALTEX – back in style

SALTEX – back in style: After a year’s absence, SALTEX roars back into life and celebrates a very memorable 75th anniversary.

Put back a year due to the pandemic, the buzz was certainly back on the show floor as SALTEX 2021 reunited the industry and brought together almost 7,500 attendees across two days.

SALTEX - back in style

SALTEX – back in style

It was apparent among exhibitors and visitors that Europe’s largest annual turf management event was exactly what the grounds management industry needed.

The annual exhibition organised by the Grounds Management Association (GMA), offered visitors a fantastic opportunity to witness the largest product and service showcase in grounds management, including many new innovations being unveiled for the first ever time at this year’s vibrant show.

New and inspiring technology was celebrated through the SALTEX Innovation Awards; a prestigious hallmark for products showcasing the future of groundscare. From robotics to battery-powered mowers, tractors to utility vehicles, grow lights to chain saws, the entries included a wide variety of high-quality products, services and equipment.

Judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the following innovations at this year’s awards ceremony took the glory.

Innovations continued to flourish throughout the event and the ever-popular Eco Village attracted a large amount of footfall. Visitors were able to see cutting-edge sustainable technology in action by GroundWOW, Dennis Mowers, Allett Mowers, Campey Turf Care Systems, Overton UK, Toro and Avant UK.

Every person who registered for SALTEX was in with a chance of winning the battery-powered E6 compact loader from Avant UK on loan for a period of six months, and after being selected by random on the first day of the show, Richard Mason from Sedbergh School was handed the keys to his new prize.

Elsewhere on the show floor, Learning LIVE, SALTEX’s all-encompassing education programme featured over 30 sessions and a number of high-profile speakers who tackled a number of key issues such as the future workforce, climate change and mental health.

Other show features on the GMA Hub, including Pathology and Soil Science Live, Ask The Expert and the Job Clinic, offered invaluable free advice and career progression opportunities.

Many exhibitors reported that a substantial number of visitors were high-quality buyers with serious intent. Commenting on the vast number of business leads he received, Rupert Price, managing director of UK importer Price Turfcare, said: “At the end of the first day at the show, we were returning to the hotel and reflecting on the high level of business and number of visitors that we had seen. Honestly, we were sceptical about the possible visitor numbers prior to the show but were very pleased with the footfall across the stand and the number of demonstration requests received.”

Echoing Rupert was Caroline Shaw, European marketing manager at Trimax Mowing Systems: “SALTEX is about is all about getting people together,” she said. “It is a great opportunity for us to network with our dealers, existing customers and new potential customers. SALTEX is a great place for us to entertain, which is always really important.”

The overwhelming consensus was that SALTEX 2021 successfully re-united every corner of the grounds care industry and demonstrated to newcomers just how great the sector is.

“I have been coming to SALTEX for many, many years and I never get bored of it – it is a great opportunity to see what is out there in the industry,” said Ted Mitchell, national facilities development manager at the Rugby Football Union (RFU). “This year has been great, and particularly because we have gone through a restructure at the RFU, and we have new members of the team. SALTEX has really opened their eyes to the sector and the wider industry.”

Geoff Webb, Grounds Management Association (GMA) CEO, reflected on what may well have been the most meaningful SALTEX yet. “On behalf of all of us at the GMA we really want to extend our thanks to all our exhibitors and visitors that have showed their support for SALTEX this year. It has been a turbulent period for us all and we are delighted that we got the opportunity to celebrate the 75th edition with so many of you.

“I believe SALTEX 2021 has brought hope for the future and has showcased what our industry is capable of overcoming.”

For more information visit www.gmasaltex.co.uk

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Ecobunker enables Sandbelt style bunkers

Ecobunker enables Sandbelt style bunkers: The famous courses of the Melbourne Sandbelt, notably Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath, are distinctive for many reasons, but one of the most important is the characteristic bunker style created by Dr Alister MacKenzie and his collaborators Alex Russell and Mick Morcom. 

Sandbelt bunkers are characterised by their size, by their swooping shape, with capes and bays dividing them up into different compartments, by their flashed sand faces, and by the fact that they cut so deeply into fairways and greens – and are typically presented with short grass – fairway or even green cut – right up to the edge of the bunker, with no collar of longer grass that can interfere with the architect’s desired short game playability, and create visual interference in an otherwise extremely ‘clean’ look.

Ecobunker enables Sandbelt style bunkers

That look has been enormously influential around the world of golf. Gil Hanse’s Olympic course in Rio de Janerio and Tiger Woods’ first American design, Bluejack National in Texas, are only two in a long list of courses said by their designers to be influenced by the Sandbelt look. But replicating those trademark Melburnian bunkers is hard. The soil on the Melbourne courses, though sandy, contains a lot of fine particles and grey organic matter that mean it binds together to create a hard surface. Coarser sand – and even more so, clay soil – does not bind the same way, and creating that hard, vertical lip so characteristic of Melbourne is basically impossible; the soil gets wet and crumbles away.

The recent President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne showed very well how the Sandbelt bunkers work. As well as the clean edge, the sand packs down so hard that Melbourne clubs do not rake their bunker faces, rather using a ‘flat rake’ to create extremely firm conditions on the bunker faces, ensuring that all balls that enter the bunker run down to the prepared base, removing the problem of plugged lies.

So Sandbelt bunkers are desirable, but they depend completely on the particular conditions on the Sandbelt to make them possible. Sydney-based golf architect Harley Kruse has found a way round this problem. At Killara Golf Club, in the northern suburbs of Sydney, a successful 1800 member club whose golf course was basically untouched since the 1960s, Kruse was hired to do a significant course renovation. After careful planning, the works were agreed: reconstruction of all eighteen green complexes, reversing two holes, rebuilding some fairway bunkers and eliminating one par three while bringing a spare hole into the normal rotation.

“Greens were suffering; the rootzone wasn’t good and they were all poa,” Kruse says. “They were small, averaging 370 sq, and basically flat, with very limited strategic value. We have increased them to an average size of 500-550 sq m, with lots more interest; we’ve also taken out 300 big trees and opened up the vistas.”

Kruse and the club wanted sandbelt-inspired bunkers, but the clay soil at Killara meant that was going to be difficult. However, they found a solution via a good friend, Rod Hinwood, course manager at the exclusive Ellerston GC in rural New South Wales. Hinwood demonstrated the successful results that EcoBunker was delivering on his pronounced bunker edges, which had previously been vulnerable to erosion. “It occurred to me that we might be able to do something similar at Killara, and thus be able to get the edging treatment that we wanted,” said Kruse.

The new bunkers are lined with Capillary Concrete, and feature a 40cm high lip constructed using EcoBunker Advanced patented synthetic bunker edging system. The sand is then flashed up the EcoBunker wall – and is held in place by the Capillary Concrete – and the bunker surrounds can be mowed short right to the edge, because of the strength the EcoBunker and Capillary Concrete underpinnings provide.

“EcoBunker was designed from the outset to give architects the maximum freedom to create the bunker shapes they wanted,” says EcoBunker inventor and CEO Richard Allen. “The work that Harley has done at Killara is a classic example of that. When I first went to Melbourne last year, the principal reason was to see the Sandbelt bunkers up close; the fact that our product has allowed a great architect to create similar bunkers on unsuitable soil is fantastic. This style of bunker has long been something of a ‘holy grail’ for a lot of golf courses that simply haven’t been able to implement it because of their soil conditions. Now, they can see a proven solution that will allow them to do so.”

“If we had tried to do that edge using the site soils, it would crumble away,” says Kruse. “Getting that stable lip in clay soils is very difficult to achieve. But EcoBunker allows us to do it.”

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Dennis & SISIS Seminars End In Style

Dennis & SISIS Seminars End In Style: The 2018 Dennis and SISIS Spring / Summer series of bowling green maintenance seminars finished in style with over 350 people in attendance across the eight venues and an overwhelming number of greenkeepers wanting to attend the educational events.

“The seminars are about attendees getting as much information as they can and making the day enjoyable. They can go away with some excellent knowledge which they can then put into practice on their own greens. The 2018 events have been a tremendous success,” said Roger Moore, sales and marketing manager for Dennis and SISIS.

Dennis & SISIS Seminars End In Style

The informative, educational and interactive seminars combine insightful seminars and practical tips while a number of industry experts also take to the stage to discuss a wide range of key topics.

Attendees are able to gain tips on the maintenance of bowling greens, grant funding support, choosing the correct grass seed and the usage of chemicals. A complimentary lunch, which signals the halfway point, offers great networking opportunities before attendees make their way outside to an on-the-green demonstration.

The demonstration not only provides a perfect opportunity to see some of the sport’s best maintenance equipment in action but also brings together the morning education with the practical elements of applying it to the greens.

Dennis & SISIS Seminars End In Style

To find out more about these FREE and highly informative seminars, please contact Roger Moore on 01332 824777 or email roger.moore@dennisuk.com.

Further information about the range of bowls maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com

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Golf Club Ends 2017 In Style

Golf Club Ends 2017 In Style: Modry Las Golf Club has ended the year in style after picking up a top award at a gala evening which celebrated the very best of international golf tourism. The West Pomerania Gary Player-designed course was named Poland’s best golf course at the World Golf Awards in Spain after a series of exciting developments at the resort and a bumper year on the course.

It is the latest in a line of awards secured by Modry Las since it was officially opened by Player in 2009. Earlier this year Modry Las received one of Poland’s top honours for its nine-hole championship course in miniature; Orli Las. This latest accolade from the World Golf Awards points towards ongoing improvements that have been supported by an internationally recognised design.

Golf Club Ends 2017 In Style

“Over the last eight years, Modry Las has been on a journey which has been underpinned by Gary Player’s fabulous design,” said Arthur Gromadzki, chairman of Modry Las. “That has been the foundation on which we have grown the resort. We have used the momentum created by Mr Player’s fantastic layout to develop the resort through on-site accommodation options, property opportunities and our wonderful nine-hole course. Modry Las has grown into an internationally recognised resort, but it all began with his vision.”

As Chris Frost, managing director of the World Golf Awards, noted, this latest honour confirms worldwide recognition for the resort. “Well-deserved congratulations to Modry Las on its success at the 2017 World Golf Awards,” he said. “Poland’s Best Golf Course is a prestigious international award that places Modry Las firmly at the top of the golf tourism industry.”
As well as picking up awards, Modry Las has also seen substantial increases in the number of rounds played, especially by visiting golfers. For instance, the number of green fees sold grew by a healthy 22% in 2017 while the number of rounds played as part of a stay-and-play package soared by 73%.

The impetus generated by the 18-hole signature course at Modry Las shows no sign of slowing down, especially during 2018 which is set to be another decisive year for the Polish resort. “The progress made at Modry Las has been significant and has resulted in us welcoming more golfers to play our courses,” continued Gromadzki. “Nonetheless, I am particularly looking forward to 2018 and the opening of our clubhouse. This is the next stage in the evolution of Modry Las and a pivotal point in its development.”

The clubhouse is due to open during the summer of 2018 and will act as a focal point for members, visitors and corporate clients with spacious reception areas and panoramic views. A sports bar, lounge areas, extensive changing facilities and a specialist golf boutique will elevate service levels once again, while 11 luxurious guest suites will provide additional accommodation just yards from the first tee and last green.

The contemporary country lodge will include an indoor golf practice studio, private-dining room as well as a 70-cover restaurant and terrace featuring international cuisine served with the best of Polish hospitality.

“This exciting project has been in the pipeline for a number of years,” said Gromadzki. “We wanted to get the feel of the place just right so that members and guests would feel at home, but also indulged. Our temporary clubhouse has been a great asset, but the new clubhouse will take the experience at Modry Las to another level.”

A number of smaller, but no-less important projects have preceded the clubhouse development, including the installation of a dedicated Tesla charging station at the West Pomeranian resort, which is now part of the Tesla Destination Programme. Elsewhere, the resort’s facilities have been photographed by award-winning photographer Mark Alexander who has not only captured the beauty of the championship course but has also taken the first images of the highly-anticipated clubhouse.

“It is always a great privilege to photograph Modry Las,” said Alexander. “The course has matured well and is looking terrific. The new clubhouse provides a fantastic backdrop to the closing hole, which was part of this year’s brief.”

Gromadzki agreed. “The photography taken by Mark has been viewed around the world, and I think his new set of images will generate even greater interest in Modry Las. In particular, he has used the light to capture views of the course that have never been seen before and reveal for the first time the new clubhouse.”

For more information, visit: www.modrylas.pl

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